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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks -

Been having a few problems in the last week, and I thought I'd ask for suggestions. I've done a few searches and read some prior threads, but none of them are precisely on point.

First, let me say that I've had no CELs or IMA lights at any point.

I've been averaging one recal/week, usually the first weekend around-town drive after a week of exclusively highway driving, of 150-400 mile roundtrips. It'll start a recal within minutes of driving, especially if I hit the first hill on my way west of my home. No biggie, I guess.

Last week, however, I was driving on the highway, in freezing rain, so maybe 25-35 degrees F, and had no assist in 5th gear. Speed started dropping, and pressing the accelerator, even punching it to the floor, gave me nothing. This is with the SOC showing nearly a full charge. After a period of time, I had assist again, but no indication of a recal, and no other problems. This was after dark, with a full complement of 12v drains - radio, fan, lights.

This has recurred once or twice, again fairly briefly, on subsequent trips.

I've now also had recals on two successive trips, both highway trips. They've been strange, too, with the SOC showing apparently totally full charge (it usually is one or two bars down, at max) then falling to maybe three bars, and then charging. Rather than slowly building up to a full charge, however, it just more or less jumps up rapidly from maybe four or five bars to the normal (ie, one or two bars short of full) SOC indication.

I should point out that it's been cold, real cold, around here recently, with daytime highs the last few days of maybe 12 degrees F or so, and lows below zero.

Any clues? I won't be hurt if you suggest that it's the battery pack. :) This is a '00 with about 55k miles and had a lifetime mpg of around 50 over it's 45k miles with the original owner.

TIA - Pat
 

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Lack of High Speed Assist

I have a 2000 Insight with 79,400 miles and three weeks ago I started to lose the assist at higher speeds. The IMA battery is charging normally, I get the assist when accelerating from a stop but if I use the assist at high speeds for anything more than a few seconds it cuts out. My battery has been at 7/8 charge for three weeks with only a change of a bar or two up. The weather has been cold but now is in the 40-50 F range. My millage has dropped by about 10%. In effect with a 7/8 charge it is behaving as if there is zero charge.

I had the dealer check it out today. After a test drive and diagnostic they said nothing is wrong. He suggested that I replace my air filter to get my millage back! I called Honda USA and they suggested that I bring it to a different dealer.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?

Thanks.
 

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I would reset the IMA by pulling the fuse the let it perform a calibration
on startup. I think the SOC (state of charge) is confused...

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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Reset the IMA

Thanks JoeCVT,

I reset the IMA by pulling the #15 fuse and I fully charged the battery but when I used up that charge and was back to 7/8 it began to act like there was no charge again.

Is there a way I can "reboot" the whole system?

Any help is appreciated.

Glenn
 

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If you pull fuse #18 it will reset all IMA related components including
the climate control...This is normally refered to as an MCM reset in
this forum but it resets more components as well...After the reset,
you will have to charge the battery again. I let it idle until the first
3 bars show up then I go for a slow ride trying to avoid using the
IMA until all bars show (find a road without stops)....

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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Fuse #18

Thanks again JoeCVT.

I pulled the #18 fuse started it up, ran it for a minute, shut it off, replaced the fuse, started it up again and there was no change except that the check engine light stays on now.

Is that the proper way to do this?

Glenn
 

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No, that was not the correct sequence.

Pull fuse - wait 30 seconds - install fuse - then start the car and do the
rest...I was supprised that the car would start if the fuse was pulled.

Anyway, at this point, since fuse 18 may not be able to fix CEL problem.
I would reset the whole car by removing the negative terminal of the
battery (front battery under the hood) for about an hour just to be sure
everything resets.

JoeCVT - Just your average CVT owner
 

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Problen Not Resolved

I disconnected the 12V negative terminal for an hour. The check engine light did go out. The SOC went to zero and I charged it to 3 bars at an idle. But in the first quarter of a mile the charge went to 100%. After some driving it returned to 7/8 charge and began behaving as if the charge was zero again.

I guess my only recourse is to go back to the dealer and see if Service Bulletin 04-028 is for real and if I can get a new MCM and BCM with 500 miles till I reach 80,000.

Still open for suggestions,

Glenn
 

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S.B. 04-028 is for real, however my read is that your symptoms don't match a common type of IMA failure. :( AFAIK from posts here the newer MCM & BCM are different in that they are programmable. Which will allow a dealer to modify through their DCS the IMA's functions (as any updated software _may_ be released by Honda for the purpose).

There are several other inputs to the IMA system that are a _required_ prerequisite for IMA operation. Those need to be tested before the controllers are condemned (long list and I'd have to do some refresher reading in the SM). Your service tech will probably also need to do the same so I'd rather not duplicate the effort in here. ;)

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies, guys, but no joy here. I tried both suggested resets, but in neither case did the SOC show any change at all, much less drop to zero charge. With fuse #15 pulled, the EPS light did light up, but no drop in charge, and I couldn't get the system to show any charging going on at 3500-4000 rpm. With fuse #18 pulled and then replaced, I did have the IMA light momentarily lit on startup, but no change in the SOC.

I'm stumped. I guess the next step would be the pull the negative battery cable, but the cable itself doesn't look all that good, at the small area that is exposed close to the terminal, so I may just replace it while I'm trying the disconnect.

This is getting to be kind of a pain - no trips over 54mpg in more than a month, and no assist at some remarkably inconvenient times. Thanks again - Pat
 

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Good News

I brought my 2000 to Brown's Honda in Charlottesville, VA. They looked at it for 2 hours and said that they needed to replace the 12V battery to do more tests. So I paid them for a new one. They were able to determine that I do have a problem, something that Harrisonburg Honda was unable to do. They had never seen this problem before. They called Honda tech and did some more tests that, again, they never had done. The good news: I'm getting a new MCM, BCM and IMA battery with 79,800 miles! Great birthday present.

Glenn
 

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loss of assist

Hi Folks,

I have read the 2 threads on assist loss with interest, because it happened to me a few days ago. The symptoms are identical, no assist, 7/8 charge and behaving like zero charge. The interesting thing in my case is that my baby has 140,000 miles on the clock! (In my case 225,000 km because I live in Germany).
The car is from '00, the 2 sensors were replaced at about 70000 miles and the engine light started coming on again in the Fall as the weather got colder, but always went out again after a day or two. But now it has been permanently on since Christmas and we have been down to around -12°C (10°F). I had simply ignored the engine light this time because the car still sailed through the emissions test with better values than any conventional car, so my conscience was clear. I have also had the 12V battery repleced twice. This description will probably not help the problem, but I do not intend to pay for neww batteries and controllers at this high mileage. The problem certainly seems to be connected with the sensors and the 12V battery.
BTW, can anyone tell me what all these three-letter terms mean? MIL, BCM, BOM & whatever? My handbook is in German and these terms are not used.

Best regards,
HM
 

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Re: loss of assist

high mileage said:
<snip>
BTW, can anyone tell me what all these three-letter terms mean? MIL, BCM, BOM & whatever? My handbook is in German and these terms are not used.
MIL - Malfunction Indicator Light SAE's (Society of Automotive Engineers) definition for the check engine light.

BCM - Battery Condition Module - A sub component of the IMA system. Basically the 144v battery pack's control computer. Works in conjunction with the MCM.
http://www.insightcentral.net/encyclopedia/enbcm.html

MCM - Motor Control Module - A sub component of the IMA system. Basically the electric motor's control computer. Works in conjunction with the BCM
http://www.insightcentral.net/encyclopedia/enmcm.html

IMA - Intergated Motor Assist - The electric part of a Honda hybrid's "engine".
http://www.insightcentral.net/encyclope ... ybrid.html


HTH! :) (Hope this Helps) not to be confused with Hail the Hybrid :p ;)
 

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loss of assist

First, thanks for rhe info John!

I have tried the ground terminal removal procedure and can confirm hermits's experience.. AOC goes to 4 or 5 bars, then quickly up to 100% and back to the 7/8 charge condition. I tried 3 times and the last time the terminal was only off only for a minute or so. This is enought to reset the SOC indicator.
I have an appointment with the dealer next week but don't expect any success. I guess I will try Honda and as a reason for helping me will state that I probably have the highest mileage in Europe. Anyone got more than 140,000 miles?

David
 

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lack of assist

Thanks for the Info john.

Here an update... I tried the various tricks suggested, removed battery terminals and all the rest, charged to 5 bars and then very, very quickly to all bars but one. Problem not solved, still 7/8 charge and no assist below.

BUT !!!! on Friday, my Schnurrli (German word for purrrrr) did its customary Friday shopping-evening recalibration and charged slowly up to 3/4 charge!
I went for a 60 mile trip and after the end part, motorway, it charged up to 7/8! So I said, "now we have to find out the truth", so did a few cycles of "full-gas" / "coasting in neutral" to try and empty the battery. It went down to 1/4 and recalibrated. Afterwards again all seemed ok!!

My explanation: (this thread started with the question of assist loss under cold conditions).. it has been (for us) REALLY cold here for the last week (-15°C overnight) and I think the problem has to do with warm-stop, cold-start cycles. The true and calulated SOC drift apart after a few cycles.
This is only speculation, and I would have a warm feeling if I thought that Honda guys were reading these threads, using the info for future hybrid development, and occasionally logging in to give us some helpful advice.
Or are we REALLY alone out here?

Cheers, David
 

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Re: lack of assist

Your very welcome David. :)

There are several rare and unusual IMA SoC events that have been documented in here. I wouldn't worry about it myself until it becomes a regular event in more "normal" weather conditions. The IMA system (specifically the BCM) has hot and cold thermal limits built-in to protect the batteries.


SoC drift as displayed on the gauge is a known limitation of the Honda system. The "problem" is the relatively "flat" voltage vs. SoC that is a physical property of NiMH battery chemistry. The gauge _will_ incorrectly display the "true" SoC and eventually has to recalibrate itself by starting from zero and forced charging until it can detect a full condition.

But don't forget the corrosion problems on the main engine ground wires :!: Its good preventative maintenance to check them once a year and repair as necessary. If these ground points are in partial failure all kinds of strange and abnormal IMA "events" have been reported.

See:

http://community.webshots.com/user/jackmpg

For a pic's :D

Does "Honda" read here :?: Probably ;) However, the "value" of the "data" is limited. Its all subjective without precise measurements. And there is probably the occasional mischievous post of some fantastic failure. But more often its simply a problem of the written word and the writer possessing enough technical knowledge to choose the right ones. ;)

HTH! :)
 
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